Modifiers are the words or phrases and these elements add the additional information about the subject. However, clauses are also modifiers and this group of words imparts detailed information and hence, these elements are mostly describing words- adverbs and adjectives. Keep in mind that a modifier can play the role of an adjective or adverb.
When modifiers are used as adjectives:
I have a small balcony.
Here, small is an adjective and it modifies the noun balcony. Additionally, ‘a’ is an article and it acts as a modifier.
When modifiers are used as adverbs:
Rana accidently met with his step mom.
She looked incredibly beautiful on her wedding.
Here, ‘accidently’ is an adverb and it modifies the verb ‘met’.
In the second sentence, ‘incredibly’ modifies the adjective ‘beautiful’.
Some More Examples:
I have a bag smaller than a mobile.
It is an adjective phrase and it modifies the noun, ‘bag’.
I have a bag which is smaller than my mobile.
Here, the adjective clause modifies the noun, ‘bag’.
When alone, I usually read books.
Here, ‘when alone’ is an adverbial phrase and it modifies the verb, ‘read’.
When we left her alone, she was cooking foods to pass the time.
Here, ‘When we left her alone’ is an adverbial clause and it acts as a modifier.
However, misplaced modifiers misguide the readers. A misplaced modifier is a phrase, word, or clause, which is separated from the word, delineated in the sentence. Sentences with misplaced modifiers sound confusing as well as awkward.
Misplaced single words: almost, exactly, even, just, hardly, nearly .
The toy maker almost sold his all toys in the fair. (Incorrect)
The toy maker sold almost all of his toys in the fair. (Correct.)
She served burgers to the kids on paper plates. (Incorrect)
She served burgers on paper plates to the kids. (Correct)
The man walked towards the bus carrying a black bag. (Incorrect)
The man carrying a black bag walked toward the bus. (Correct)